I don’t want to fight and argue with my children’s father anymore
I have two children (a boy and a girl) aged 8 and 10 and, ever since they were born, their father has played a very minimal role in their lives in terms of the time he spends with them and the money he contributes to their upkeep. Ever since I had our children, it has been a battle to get anything out of him, hence we have had numerous arguments over the years, some of which have become violent and, I’m ashamed to say, the violence has been instigated by me out of my frustration and hurt. I confess I have a lot of festering anger and bitterness towards my children’s father. I’m so angry at his behaviour, partly because it was a joint decision to have our children, and he has totally abrogated his duties. I became a Christian last year, and know I need to deal with my negative feelings towards my children’s father and build a better relationship with him (if I can). Any advice you can share would be greatly appreciated.
Janet, High Wycombe
Esther Fenty says:
As a new Christian, who has had to contend with the disappointing behaviour of your children’s father in the past, I can see that you are already on the right path in dealing with your negative feelings towards him. However, you will need to be aware that this may be a long process. Do not be surprised to find yourself slipping back into negativity but, with prayer and support, you will overcome. The first step is to recognise that you have these feelings and, though the reasons for these are understandable, you do not have the ‘rights’ to these, and Jesus expects you to let them go.
Secondly, acknowledge these feelings to God. He is able to help you through these heartaches as you tell Him exactly how you feel. You might need the prayer support of a trusted friend – or your leadership team – as you struggle with your feelings.
In addition, you will need to study the Scriptures relating to forgiveness, so that you can use these to pray. Our decision to forgive is based on the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has forgiven us and paid the penalty for our sins. Therefore, as you read the Scriptures, determine in your mind that you will forgive. Remember that you are trying to change yourself, but it is possible that a change in you will lead to a change in your children’s father. Allow the Holy Spirit to deal with him.
You may want to write a letter to your children’s father before asking for a meeting. In that way, he will be already prepared for a discussion rather than a fight. If it is possible, replay the previous scenes where you instigated the violence through frustration. How will you handle this differently, if he refuses to pay any maintenance or spend time with the children? You may need to practise what you will say. If,after all your preparation, you find yourself getting angry, walk away from the situation. Agree to meet another time and also be willing to apologise for your behaviour. Commit him and your children to the Lord in prayer, knowing that even if their earthly father does not help, their heavenly Father is more than able.
2013 was a terrible year. How can I make 2014 better?
2013 was not a good year for me. I lost my job and am still unemployed; had some health issues, and a promising relationship that I thought would lead to marriage ended. I found this upsetting, but have decided to have a positive attitude in 2014. I mean, things can only get better. I just wonder what tips you can share to help me in my quest to draw closer to God and get my life back on track in 2014.
Esther Fenty says:
Just like the recent weather we have been having, when it rains, it pours. The Bible tells us that the righteous have many problems, but the Lord delivers us out of them all. With so much having gone wrong last year, it would be easy to draw close to God, hoping that things will get better. I cannot promise you that you won’t have more disappointments, but I can assure you that if you draw close to God, He will draw close to you.
There is no better place to start than in asking for forgiveness, and then determine to spend time in daily devotion with Him. In your devotion, you could be asking for direction in jobs and marriage. Is God calling you to a particular job or area of ministry? I’m not sure of your age or other commitments, but is this a time to think of retraining or further studies? As you pray, do some research, and apply for jobs/courses, etc, and see where He leads. Do not rush into a new relationship, but trust Him as you wait for His direction.
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